HRH The Princess Royal, a keen sailor, and the owner of a 36 foot sailing yacht visited the London Boat Show taking in a tour to view the latest innovations in the world of yachting.
Joined by her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, she visited a diverse range of businesses, the royal couple met many of the exhibitors.
In her capacity as President of the RYA, Princess Anne presented the RYA Yachtmaster of the Year 2017 to four time Paralympian, Hannah Stodel. She was awarded for her first class sailing skills and empathy for others when passing her RYA Yachtmaster certificate of competence examination.
Footballing hero, Sir Geoff Hurst and BT Sports Presenter, Jake Humphrey, were among the other famous faces to visit the show including former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, Red Bull Team Principle, Christian Horner and TV stars Lorraine Kelly, Nick Knowles and James Martin.
Political figures, the Rt Hon. Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairburn received a detailed insight into the strength of the leisure marine industry.
The newly formatted London Boat Show drew to a close amidst favourable sales reports, and strong visitor numbers.
Over the course of the now five-day event, more than 52,000 visitors enjoyed a range of boats and products on offer from 347 exhibitors; this represents a significant average daily increase on attendance from 2017.
Featuring a new show within a show the Boating and Watersports Holiday segment has been proclaimed a success amongst exhibitors and visitors alike, highlighting a renewed and much needed confidence in the future of the London Boat Show which has been failing for several years.
Attracting attention from visitors and media around the globe, the Show offered a platform to launch 94 brand new products. Eleven World debuts included the Princess V50, Hanse 348 and Rodman’s Spirit 42 Coupe, with the Sunseeker 76 offering visitors the chance to see the biggest boat at the show.
With brand new attractions this year, the show provided more opportunities for visitors to get on the water for free – or learn and practise new skills on dry land. Watersports, ‘Chalk and talk’ sessions on the new beach club gave visitors an insight into some of the latest watersports activities, before trying them out on the activity pool.
Close to 500 people also enjoyed the wakeboarding experience located in the new Adventure Park. The Lock and Waterside Pub, overlooking the new inland boating attraction, provided a welcome pit stop for a well-deserved pint and gave a feeling of life next to the waterways.
Keen boaters and novices visited the Practical Boat Owner Theatre where they listened to experts such as Tom Cunliffe, Dave Selby and Stokey Woodall offering advice on how to kit up for the next cruise, what to take, or how to manage boating on a budget.
Other features presented by British Marine, with Sky Sports Presenter, Alec Wilkinson introduced the likes of Mike Golding, Dee Caffari, Alex Thompson, who also collected the YJA Yachtsman of the Year award at the Show, and a joint appearance by female sailing icons Tracy Edwards MBE and Sam Davies. YouTube video bloggers, makers of the Sailing La Vagabonde series, were also a star attraction.
A key moment on the stage included honouring future talent with the announcement of the Superyacht UK Young Designer competition winner, in partnership with Pendennis Shipyard and Olesinski; the competition has proved fascinating to watch across the first two days of the event.
Howard Pridding, British Marine CEO, comments: “The 2018 London Boat Show has provided an essential platform to showcase the very best of the marine industry to a global audience. We’re delighted that the changes we have implemented have been such a success. Offering a new five-day format has allowed us to attract more new and first-time exhibitors than ever before.
“The atmosphere has been vibrant, and our new attractions gave everyone the chance to experience and interact with the Show. With an average daily attendance of just over 10,000 we’ve enjoyed more concentrated crowds of visitors at the Show than we’ve experienced for many years, particularly on the very busy Saturday.”
Howard concludes: “With the latest industry figures demonstrating a sixth continuous year of growth within the sector, this year’s Show has continued along that terrific vein. We pay tribute to and thank our exhibitors who were the stars of the Show.”
The 2019 London Boat Show will take place from Wednesday 9 – Sunday 13 January 2019.